Travel and transitions

It’s the first time I’m using my iPad to put up a post. Not without difficulty – but I felt that I didn’t want to let the 20th June go by without acknowledging transitions.

We’ve spent a week in Sintra Portugal with my husband’s family from the States – his sister and her husband, their son and wife and delightful 9 year old twins, and their daughter. A very comfortable villa, gorgeous garden and pool, and views of the mountains and castles. I wish I could post pictures but getting them from my cell to iPad is beyond me.

I’m not sure of the exact date of the solstice, whether it’s the 20th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd but the solstice it is, longest day here in the northern hemisphere, longest night back home in the southern hemisphere – and then a tilting of the earth’s axis – and a seasonal transition.

It’s also 5 years to the day of my car accident, the day before moving from our old home to our new one, the townhouse. I remember my younger son praying over me at the side of my upturned car, and my right hand dangling next to me. The ambulance ride I don’t remember, I remember vaguely being wheeled in for the operation, both sons and my husband there.

We did move the next day, on the solstice which was  also a full moon that night, and which was my plan 5 years ago. I remember learning patience – my right hand was badly damaged and encased in plaster for several weeks … using my left hand to write blog posts and do the usual that had to be done.

We leave Sintra today and fly to Zurich for a few days before embarking on a boat cruise.

It’s been a big year this year. Politically in South Africa where we had a change of president and we’re still battling to emerge from all that was so badly wrong. I know this is true around the world.

My husband and I both turned 70 – he at the end of May and I about 2 weeks ago. (Adding later: NOT 2 weeks ago, it was last week!!!) So this too is a transition. I’m just acknowledging a still point and transitions and I hope that any transitions you are or may be making go well and creatively.

-thank you for reading-








51 Comments on Travel and Transitions

  1. I’m checking through old emails and seeing what I overlooked–and I find this blog from you. I missed one of your trips. That accident from five years before sounds overwhelming, but I’m glad the move happened. I need to move to a smaller place, too, but the right option hasn’t appeared. You’re a traveling woman these days. Thanks for sharing your adventures. We’re well past the solstice as I watch the setting sun move noticeably further south on the horizon from my back deck. I’m also watching Venus, Jupiter, Mars, the Moon, and the background of distant stars and the Milky Way. I’m grateful to live in a dark sky place with so much night beauty–when the sky is clear. Sky watching is a nice kind of traveling for me.

    • Sky-watching … the best there is! We’ve just returned from being away for the weekend to celebrate a dear friend’s 70th birthday, upcountry, about an hour and a half from Cape Town. Among the mountains and utterly breathtaking scenery we witnessed the eclipse on Friday night. The stars and the milky way were never brighter, away from city lights. Even now as I look out my study window at home, the moon still looks pretty full. I’m hoping that we can visit Plettenberg Bay soon – the sea, mountains and wide skies brings a special kind of joy to me. And if we go soon, there’s a good chance of seeing whales in the bay …

      Thanks for coming by dear Elaine … I think of you often, with your keen eye for beauty, growth, the birds and bees, flowers and stones.

  2. I am late in visiting here. Hope you had a lovely birthday and great time with family.
    I find writing a post from phone or tablet uncomfortable too. Laptop is what works best for me. Regarding transferring pictures from phone to iPad. You may transfer via Bluetooth or send them via email. Hope that works for you next time.

    • Hi Shilpa, thanks for coming by. I tried transferring from iphone to Ipad via email – bluetooth is something I didn’t try. In time I will! Arrived home on Monday after a wonderful 3 weeks away and it’s great to be using my good old laptop!

  3. I do hope you’ve enjoyed your birthday month, Susan, and continue to enjoy. Your boat trip sounds wonderful. How far you have come in the last five years. I’m pleased to have met you somewhere along the path. Best wishes, N.

  4. Shoh, ya. What a time that was. So glad you’re safe from that. And sounds like the trip’s been rad in Europe! Kiff! 🙂

    • It was a hang of a time and your and Dave being there helped hugely! Allgoong well down the Rhine – as I write, we’re still, in a lock – welcome back to you from your Europe trip!

  5. I’m getting to this post late, Susan, so an extra belated happy birthday. The solstice brings you mixed memories, it seems. Your trips sound delightful–such a fun variety, seeing family and different sights. Wishing you all the best.
    I guess you’re getting to experience two summer solstices this year! 🙂

    • About to embark on boat for week’s travel and able to WiFi connect for the moment so this is perfectly timely, thank you for coming by! I hadn’t thought of 2 summer solstices Merril so thanks for pointing that out! Thank you for your good wishes – same back to you!

  6. Your trip sounds charming, and what a lovely way to celebrate your birthdays. I’ve been thinking lots about transitions lately – it seems we all are – and thinking about how we’re often imprinted with the marks of such transitions. I call them for-my-eyes-and-heart-only tattoos. I remain grateful always for the gift that age brings of increased comfort and satisfaction of being in my own skin, living this extraordinary adventure called life.

    • Thanks Deborah so much. ‘ … for my eyes and heart only tattoos’ – that is so lovely and conveys fully the imprint that new sights sounds and images make and further create. Life is an adventure – I know that I am extremely fortunate in my circumstances to be able to travel. And fortunate also in my attitude to all that life offers … albeit from my privileged WASP Eurocentric upbringing.

  7. so refreshing to read Susan after a long time:) nice to know about your trip – and yes hope you had a wonderful time. 70 years is a long journey and what is even more lovely is that your husband too has turned and its double celebration on a vacation.

    I remember you mentioning about the accident in one of your post… glad that it was past and happy that you are around, its been a privilege to have found you here wishing you and your husband love, joy, peace, health and harmony.

    • Sometimes I feel as if I’m only beginning this journey Genevive! Yes, this trip is a celebration of both of us turning 70. We express grateful thanks and gratitude just about every day that we can actually do this.

      I want to go back to my solstice post 5 years ago to read what I wrote. So, we’ve been blogging friends for at least 5 years … How time flies … I feel also that I’ve got to know you and your family ,,, which gives me great pleasure and joy! Have a lovely weekend!

  8. Happy birthday, Gemini (same as my sis) and so glad you came through the awful time to be the amazing person you are, Susan. oxo

    • Thanks Pam! My husband Neil is also a gemini and both my sons are also air signs … I don’t know about amazing – I can be awful also … 😁🙃😃🌼

  9. I am certainly in the transitions phase – not knowing whether I will return to my forest life or partner or what is coming next . your journey sounds wonderful – family times are precious and new sights are good for the soul. the little king now 7 and half asked me to help him ‘do’ the solstice. so he made a fire in the yard which took a long time to get the sticks in the right position and filled a huge pot with water and we had air and earth and spirit covered then invited his grandad and we all ate around the fire and floated candles holding our wishes . little haydee at one and half lurched around the fire and chased the flames , the moon was out and stars and although cold it was very beautiful.
    lovely to see the next next generation honouring the cycles of life.

    • Thanks Sandra for coming by from down under. I loved your solstice post. The little King and his interest in rituals with the tiniest one lurching around and the moon shining and the stars and the cold and the flames and the pot and being nourished in me ways than one …. These memories will stay imprinted on their souls – and on the elders knowing that they have given food for the soul ..

  10. Hi Susan – so much has happened in my life in the last 10 years … and I remember your accident – though perhaps had only just met you here on the blogs – just very glad you came through … as I’m sure the family did too. Transitions … so many – I thought I was settled – not to be … life goes along its own little way.

    Today could be Solstice, or yesterday, or tomorrow … I have no idea what time zone I’m in! It is the downward trend now – I know a long way to go yet to the dark days.

    I have lots to write about … reading matter and indigenous peoples … long posts – but you’ll be home to read!!

    Enjoy that cruise … and seeing family in Switzerland – the Portuguese trip sounds lovely … with the kids around too – cheers Hilary

    • Thanks Hilary! Officially I gather the beginning of summer in Canada – I know that winter in South Africa gets extreme only round about now! July can be totally freezing cold!

      I look forward to your always interesting posts … And if I can source them while on the Rhine I know I’ll enjoy them else wise come early July when I’m back home and settled …

      We are not with family in Switzerland nor shall we be on the boat! Nor were we with family in France! Portugal was the special family time – on my husband’s side. Have a great weekend, susan 🙂

      • In that case being toute seule together – how you say that in French, German or Italian – I don’t know … but enjoy … and yes see you around soonish … I know it’s freezing in June/July down south – take care and it had warmed up here .. but as we had a school event today – I was glad it was cooler. Looking forward to hearing your stories of a travelling ‘gal … Cheers Hilary

  11. Happy Birthday! I’m ever amazed and pleased to read about how you gracefully handle the ups and downs of your life. I hope that the rest of your vacation is enjoyable and that you return home safely, re-engergized by the experience.

    • Thank you Ally Bean! There are many times I am not graceful I have to say! And can act like an ungrateful gnarly grumpy gnome – and then I hide. Thank you for your good wishes for safe travels. It’s always lovely retuning home but while I’m away, all is good!

  12. Dear Susan, Sending numerous (and numinous!) birthday blessings to you my dear friend! A still point and a transition, I love your description of this joyful event. What a huge year it’s been personally, nationally, and internationally! Oh my Goddess, the pure joy of visiting more of Demeter’s beauty and bounty. And how exciting it must be to holiday in many different places and immerse yourself in their cultures. I wonder if on your boat trip you’ll visit Jung’s Tower otherwise known as The Alchemist’s Lair? I don’t know if it’s open to the public … still to see his former home and castle, even from the outside, would be amazing!

    The Solstice certainly seems to be a key time. Thank you for sharing the anniversary date with us, and what happened … from Elaine I’ve learnt such anniversaries are important to mark with ritual. Hmm, your accident the day before Solstice feels incredible in its timing, I wonder if you’ve explored any myths or folklore tales regarding timing and meaning of this event. Just a thought, and feel free to ignore … I don’t know if you hold any belief with past lives but at certain times of the year I find myself in a short depression, it usually lasts a day where I feel like, “death” and have often wondered, if, in a previous life, I died on this day.

    Thank you so much Susan for giving back to the world all that you’re learning from your inner journeys these past 70 years. For all that time spent on the inside, tracking dreams, active imaginations, exploring psyche through a myriad of creative ways, including art, myth and poetry … is not without waste if we “go in” without “staying in” but bring out our insights and share them willingly. I’m sure it must balance out the debt we owe the world for leaving it (and going within) for so long! How can it be any other way! Most of all thank you for being a wonderful companion on life’s open road. Solstice blessings, Deborah.

    • Dear Deborah, thank you for your lovely response! I can’t wait to share photos I took today of the Black Madonna at Einsiedeln, one of the most beautiful sights I ever saw! Absolutely moving – I nearly burst into tears. Today, the solstice, has been filled with magic in every way …

      Tomorrow we plan to get on a boat (we’re getting quite good at trains and boats and planes) and stop off at Kusnacht and stroll and hopefully see the Tower – I’ll report back!

      My friend Susan in Johannesburg (not my American friend Susan) is a psychologist and uses astrology to some degree and is pretty skilled at seeing the influences of the planets on the psyche. Some days after my accident she looked me up and said that Zeus gave me a HUGE smack that day. I must go back and check what she said. That is very interesting what you say re falling into a depression on some days and whether in past lives you may have died when such depression or falling occurs. I may have had many lives already … It’s a very interesting thought. Thank you for saying ..

      And I’m moved even more by what you say in your last paragraph, thank you Deborah. I feel affirmed by what you say, and there is no more wonderful feeling than that in my view. Thank you for being you, travelling these winding and widening roads and paths – Solstice blessings to you 💕🌺

  13. Happy Birthday, Susan – Thank you for another very thought-provoking post. I am delighted that I discovered your blog (originally via #WATWB, I think). I am now a hardcore fan!

  14. I, too, am a gemini birthday (June 14) and I spent the week in a cabin at the shore…important to acknowledge these transitions…

  15. First of all, Happy Birthday; now you’re in my decade. And Congratulations for attempting a blog post with a tablet. When I use anything other than my laptop for blog posting, my thumbs seem to have grown bigger. Ha!

    I did not know you five years ago when the accident happened. It is definitely a marker among the milestones your recount here.

    Blessings (and safety!) on your vacation travels, Susan.

    • Thank you Marian for birthday greetings. I’m in good company then re being in the same decade as you! Now, to find a way to edit my post, my birthday was last week, not two weeks ago … 😀

      Thank you for your good wishes re safe travels … I hope to come by your recent post Marian in the next day or so on your brother’s markings through his blessed life ..

  16. Gosh, Susan. So much — so many transitions for you. Can’t believe it’s been 5 yrs since your car accident. At that time, I had recently turned 70. Transitions are, psychologists say, as you know, one of the most difficult things humans encounter. So many changes and transitions for me this year, too. Through it all, life continues to fascinate me. Anyway, your stay at the Portuguese villa and subsequent Zurich boat cruise sound idyllic — transitions to treasure. Photos soon, I hope.

    • Thanks Samantha – we need these transitions I reckon, else wise life would be static. Life is always in motion and change is about the only constant! Yes 5 years ago … You turning 70 and continually meeting the challenges that life brings. And like you, I hope to continue to find life fascinating. Photos soon … I’d love to show some of them. Such beauty and magnificence in the forests and castles, the size of lemons and the sweetest dear old woman who gave me 4 huge ones … As big as melons … One of my treasured photos …

  17. Lovely blog Suzee. Thank you for taking time during your holiday. South African winter solstice – 21st June, 12.07. I will remember to be present. 5 years ago? gosh, seems like a year ago. How grateful I feel that nothing worse happened to you. Enjoy the cruise. x

    • Thank you Didee!!! Tomorrow 21st … 20th did seem too soon. I too am grateful about so so much … I forgot to say that. Cruising on Sunday I think … Xx

  18. Happy holiday Susan. Yes I confirm Andrea’s suggestion I email photographs as attachments to myself on the ipad then open them there. Presumably as you have used the ipad to post the above, the same would apply?

    • Thanks Philippa for coming by … well, I would have hoped it was that simple. Usually any photos I take and want to use I put into a blog images file and access media of files when I want to use one or two for a post. But this is on my lap top … It may have had something to do with poor internet access in Sintra …

  19. Yes, transitions can be difficult or memorable or ignored, but you seem to handle it quite well. I’m totally in shock that it has been five years since your accident, as I remember it so vividly. Time does fly. Solstice is tomorrow, the 21st, here. I turn 69 in August, so I’m not far behind you. The last few years have been traumatic so I wonder what all the universe holds for me and the world in the coming years. I truly wish we could rid ourselves of our president as like your country, we will have a lot of damage to repair. It seems we don’t remember history and the damage caused. I pray that the change of seasons brings love and joy for all of us! Big Hugs to you.

    • Lovely comment Gwynn thank you re change of seasons bringing love and joy for all of us! How the years fly by – and how we don’t learn from history. We each have to do our bit and reflect on our own personal history…which is valuable work. Hugs to you too ..

  20. Those seminal events, they never leave us do they? Especially as we get older. I’m a few years behind you and I watch as you gracefully age. Lovely post.

  21. What a lovely, honest, and open-hearted blog, Susan. I did not know about the accident, right at the time of transition… and your blog makes it even more poignantly important to access the still point during these phase shifts. Tomorrow, June 21st is the solstice; here in Eastern Canada it is at 6:07 a.m. I too plan to be present in the stillness, to listen, to feel, to mark the time rather than rush through this peak turning moment. Thank you for taking the time from your holiday to write… and you may want to try emailing, from your cellphone to your Ipad the photos! That’s how I do it. Probably there’s an easier way, but that’s all I’ve managed to figure out.

    • thanks Andrea for coming by! At last I have proper wifi here in Zurich! Last evening my older son who is in Amsterdam right now gave me instructions of how to do pictures including emailing to myself (which is what is usually do on lap top) but to no avail!

      So many interesting things happened at Lisbon airport today – which I definitely want to write about. Thanks for saying about tomorrow being the actual solstice. In the past I’ve blogged about it – sol: sun, stice: still (Latin) ..

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